C.C., I Was Just Kidding -- You CAN Win the Big One

If you didn't stay up last night to see it, you missed a classic. Russell martin -- or "Thank God For Russell" Martin, as he's known in my house -- belted a long shot off Jim Johnson in the 9th inning to give the Yankees 3-2 lead. And then it seemed like everyone in the Yankees lineup got a hit.

Except, of course, Alex Rodriguez, who once again looked like he was swinging at insects (I don't remember him hitting so much as a foul all night).

It was just about a perfect night for the Yanks to dump some demons, including C.C. Sabathia, who, I'm told, is tired of hearing the carping, mostly from me, that he can't win the big game. Still, I think Joe Girardi erred in leaving him in to get two outs in the 9th - 120 pitches is just too much.

In recent years Yankee fans are used to big first-game-of-the-series wins followed by humiliating flops, but this time it doesn't' feel like it's going to be that way. This newer, deeper roster is faster and more resilient than any the team has had since the late 1990s. For instance, in the 9th inning, when the Yankees, up 7-2, had Gardner in left and Ichiro in center for defensive purposes, and I thought, Yes, Girardi finally has all the parts he needs to make this engine go.

Suddenly, for the first time on months, the Orioles don't seem so menacing. And Pettitte going tomorrow night at Camden yards with a thoroughly rested Robertson and Soriano seems like a sure thing.

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